The Case of Yael by Louis Breger, Ph.D.
Time: You’ve given me all the time in the world. As you’ve heard many many times I used to follow Mom around and try to get her to spend time with me and hear my stories and I could never get her to stop and listen and attend. I have really needed it and benefited from it.
Self-Disclosure/Intuition: In the beginning of my work with you I couldn’t handle knowing much about your life and you completely honored that. Over time I wanted to know more and you honored that. Everything you’ve ever shared about your personal life has meant a tremendous amount to me and has deepened my work with you.
Normalizing: You let me know that I’m not alone, that other people think and feel and go through some of the same things, too, things that I have tormented myself about needlessly. You’ve helped me to discover what it means to be a human being.
Conscientiousness: You have been reliable to a fault. Even when you’ve had very serious medical issues to deal with you have been quicker to get back to work than seems humanly possible. [The old workaholism has its beneficial side, at least for patients.]
Friendship: As the years have gone on the friendship aspect of my relationship with you has grown and has made me feel like a more worthy person. It meant so much to me that you were at our wed ding. I wanted you and your wife to come to my son’s Bar Mitzvah and was so sorry that your medical situation at the time prevented it. These days I’ve appreciated it when you congratulate my husband on his…projects.
Music: You may not see this as therapy but it has meant so much to me when you have shared your music. [I sent her a couple of CDs when she mentioned being a fan of a musician I also liked.] I treasure everything you’ve sent. And it is truly therapeutic for me when I listen to it.
Support: You reassured me that I should go ahead and have a child. You got me through those very difficult last three months of my pregnancy. You were very happy for us when my son was born and very sweet to him when we bumped into you at the bookstore; he was about three and I told him that you were the guy who “helps me with my feelings: ‘
Forgiveness: Because of you I have forgiven myself and come to accept myself in ways that I never could have predicted. In the early days I was such a crazy mixed-up kid, so distraught and fearful and full of guilt. I am not absolutely all the way there, but I am moving in the direction of letting myself be.